Today, in advance of a congressional vote, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America expressed its strong support for a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives calling upon Palestinian Authority President Abbas to exclude the terrorist group Hamas from participating in the upcoming Palestinian elections through the slating of candidates for the Palestinian legislature.
H. Res. 575, sponsored by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Menendez (D-NJ), Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Berkley (D-NV), McCaul (R-TX) and Wexler (D-FL), expresses the view that the House of Representatives:
“asserts that terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, should not be permitted to participate in Palestinian elections until such organizations recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, cease incitement, condemn terrorism, and permanently disarm and dismantle their terrorist infrastructure; calls on the Palestinian Authority President Abbas before the election to declare openly his intention to take action to dismantle the terrorist organizations; and asserts that the inclusion of Hamas, or any other terrorist group on the State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations, into the Palestinian governing structure will inevitably raise serious policy considerations for the United States, potentially undermining the continued ability of the United States to provide financial assistance and conduct normal relations with the Palestinian Authority.”
Stephen Savitsky, president of the UOJCA, issued the following statement in advance of the House vote:
Our community greatly appreciates the strong message that the U.S. House will send to the Palestinian Authority and its people with this resolution. Israel has time and again undertaken great risks and wrenching decisions for the sake of peace. Especially in the wake of the disengagement from Gaza, the onus truly lies on the Palestinian side to undertake bold steps – and confronting the terrorists of Hamas, as President Abbas has committed publicly, is long overdue.
We commend the leadership of Representatives Cantor, Menendez and the other members of Congress in bringing this issue to the fore and marshalling Congress to send this strong message to the Middle East.